2019 Is the Year of Travel With These Limited Time Offer Credit Cards

Three credit cards are making it easier and cheaper to travel in 2019.

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If one of your resolutions in 2019 is to travel more—three credit cards are making it easier and cheaper to do so. These noteworthy limited-time offers come with the ability to earn plenty of points that can pay for you (and even your companion) to travel for pennies on the dollar.

Best Credit Cards for Travel
There’s no doubt that these handsome bonus offers can help you easily make 2019 a year of travel. Getty Images

1. Southwest Airlines Companion Pass Offer

If you hate traveling alone—and want to bring a friend (for free), Southwest Airlines just made it simple for you to do so. The airline, rated one of the best in the United States is offering a way to earn the Southwest Companion Pass with minimal effort. If you're not familiar with this travel benefit, it's essentially a buy one, get one free for flights: book your seat as you normally would with either cash or points - then book a seat for your companion but only pay the fees and taxes (from $5.60 one-way).

You usually have two ways to earn the Southwest Companion Pass: earn 110,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards Points or fly 100 qualifying one-way flights.

However, there is a limited time offer available that makes it much easier to earn the Companion Pass. The current signup bonus for the three personal Southwest credit cards includes the ability to earn 30,000 points AND a Southwest Companion Pass that is good through the rest of 2019. To earn this bonus, you must spend $4,000 in the first three months of account opening.

This signup bonus is only available until February 11, 2019.

Though the Southwest Companion Pass is normally valid for up to two years, the pass earned with this limited time signup bonus is only valid through December 31, 2019. For this reason, it is best to earn the Companion Pass in early 2019. If you plan on taking advantage of this opportunity, you'll want to apply for one of these three cards: Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card, or the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card.

All three personal credit cards currently have the same signup bonus. You also earn 2 points per dollar spent on Southwest and Rapid Rewards partner purchases. Everything else will earn you 1 point per dollar spent.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card comes with 3,000 points after your cardmember anniversary. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card is a step higher as it comes with 6,000 points after your cardmember anniversary.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card not only comes with 7,500 points after your cardmember anniversary, but it also comes with a $75 annual travel credit and the ability to upgrade up to four boardings annually (subject to availability). You'll also get 20% back if you use your Priority card for in-flight purchases.

Your points won't expire, as long as your account is open and active. There is also no limit on how many points you can earn. Similar to other top travel credit cards, you can use your points on flights, hotel stays, exclusive events, gift cards, and more.

Earning a Southwest Companion Pass along with 30,000 points is a great way to take full advantage of Southwest's low-fare service to Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and across the United States. Additionally, you and your companion can be some of the first travelers to use the highly anticipated flight service to Hawaii scheduled to begin later this year.

Best Credit Cards for Travel
Take advantage of one of the best sign-up bonuses available and apply before these limited time offers expire. Getty Images

2. United Explorer Business Card - 75,000 Mile Bonus

With flights to or from nearly any city in the world, the United Explorer Business Card can make it easier to earn points for award flights. Its current signup bonus value is 75,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months of account opening. You also receive two one-time United Club passes at signup and each card anniversary.

Your bonus miles are enough to book a free ticket on one of these routes:

  • One roundtrip economy seat in the United States (25,000 miles)
  • A one-way first-class ticket in the United States (25,000 miles)
  • A one-way economy ticket to Europe (30,000 miles)

On award flights, you still pay fees and taxes starting at $5.60. But unlike international airlines, United doesn't charge a fuel surcharge on long-distance flights.

The limited time offer on the United Explorer Business card is a great opportunity to maximize a business credit card application.

Best Credit Cards for Travel
These noteworthy limited-time offers come with the ability to earn plenty of points that can pay for you (and even your companion) to travel for pennies on the dollar. Getty Images

3. Barclaycard Arrival Plus - 70,000 Bonus Miles

When you're not loyal to a particular airline, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus lets you redeem your points for any travel purchase and get five percent of your points back for your next redemption. You also earn a flat 2x points on every dollar spent regardless of the purchase category.

The limited time signup bonus of 70,000 bonus miles is worth $700 in award travel statement credits. You can earn this bonus by spending $5,000 in the first 90 days.

You can redeem your miles for one or multiple travel purchases. By redeeming all 70,000 miles for travel statement credits, you get 3,500 miles back for your next redemption. Once factoring this redemption bonus, the signup bonus is actually worth $735 in travel statement credits.

Bottom Line

Southwest Airlines is easily a favorite for many thanks to their low fares, two free checked bags, and open seating. Both United and Barclaycard's offers come with the ability to earn plenty of miles. There's no doubt that these handsome bonus offers can help you easily make 2019 a year of travel. Take advantage of one of the best sign-up bonuses available and apply before these limited time offers expire.

John E. DiScala runs the website JohnnyJet.com, and specializes in maximizing credit card points, travel deals and travel tips.